By Gerhard Fankhauser
Published in the May 2015 Shaumbra Magazine
During my travels in India in my early twenties I had a mysterious encounter and a memorable experience of soul-destiny that was truly meaningful to me. It came back into my memory recently during the Threshold event in Canada and again during the Kasama workshop in Kauai. Even though it happened more then 20 years ago, it still seems like yesterday. Isn’t it interesting how some experiences in life completely transcend our usual timeframe and seem to belong to a more timeless realm, a realm of soul destiny, of Kasama.
The year was 1991 and I was sitting on the banks of the river Ganges in Varanasi, one of the ancient holy cities in India. Life along that river was truly exciting and one could spend days and days just watching the happenings on the ‘Ghats,’ the stairs that lead down from the city and temples to the holy river. Those Ghats and life on the Ghats basically provided everything for the Hindus to have their holy dip in the water. There were platforms with small tea stores, barbers, massagists and small stores full of all kinds of kitschy and colorful religious items. There were priests doing their ceremonies, burning incense and throwing flowers into the river while chanting their mantras, and of course thousands of people taking their ritual bath. There were also plenty of dogs, goats, cows and monkeys inhabiting those Ghats and the smell of animal poop and open sewage flowing into the river competed with the smell of incense and the overall sacred fragrance and atmosphere of the site.
All in all, one had only to sit there and observe and have a blast of an experience. That’s what I did. I was sitting there in a little tea stall sipping my chai when suddenly an elderly man with a beard and a friendly face turned around, looked deep into my eyes and asked, “Do you know, why you are here?” Continue reading